Categories: Criminal Law

Federal Criminal Appeals

Course Page for Fall 2021 - Stevenson, Adam

Topics reflect interests of instructor and students.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Fall 2021
Fall 2020
Fall 2019
Fall 2018
Fall 2017
Fall 2016

Law & Forensic Science

Course Page for Fall 2021 - Findley, Keith

Forensic evidence used in criminal cases has come under intense scrutiny recently because few of the methods have been scientifically validated and some have been proven to be highly unreliable. This course brings together law students and graduate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students to examine Law & Forensic Science. The course is divided into two distinct segments. The first half of the class involves presentations by faculty and leading scientists, lawyers, and scholars on the legal system & processes, the fundamentals of science, and the challenges confronting the forensic disciplines, including close scrutiny of many of the dominant forensic techniques in use today. For the bulk of the remaining time, the course turns to examining more deeply these issues in a practice setting—in-class mock hearings or mock trials—in which law students assume the roles of the attorneys litigating forensic science issues, and the STEM students assume the roles of expert witnesses in the various disciplines.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Fall 2021
Fall 2020
Fall 2019

Sentencing & Corrections

Course Page for Fall 2021 - Klingele, Cecelia

Topics reflect interests of instructor and students.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Fall 2021
Fall 2020
Fall 2020
Fall 2018
Fall 2016

Wrongful Convictions

Course Page for Fall 2018 - Findley, Keith

Hundreds of wrongly convicted people in the United States have been exonerated by postconviction DNA testing in the past two decades. Hundreds more have been exonerated by other types as evidence as well. As a consequence, wrongful convictions have emerged as a serious concern in the criminal justice system. This course examines the rise of the Innocence Movement and the lessons learned from the wrongful convictions cases. The course examines the causes or recurring features of wrongful convictions, including eyewitness identification error, false confessions, flawed forensic science, and others. The course then considers the way the legal system responds to such errors; it examines legal avenues for postconviction relief, including both state-based remedies and federal habeas corpus; and it considers the obstacles to and availability of compensation for wrongful convictions. Both practice and policy implications of error in the criminal justice system are examined.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, students should:
1. have a solid understanding of the factors that contribute to wrongful convictions;
2. learn to think critically about the criminal justice system, and be capable of assessing ways that the criminal justice system can be made to function more reliably, so as to overcome errors that produce wrongful convictions;
3. understand the procedural steps and legal standards applicable to postconviction challenges to a conviction; and
4. obtain a deep understanding of the importance of evaluating facts with an open mind, viewing claims and statements about facts and law with healthy skepticism, and exhaustively examining all claims, even when they seem obvious.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Fall 2018
Fall 2017
Fall 2016